If you've already got an Amazon Alexa or Echo dot in your home or office, you can easily add your very own devices. In this quick project we'll show how to use an Adafruit ESP8266 Feather HUZZAH to control NeoPixels or a relay. You can easily adapt the code to add any number of devices to a single Feather for all sorts of interactive home automation projects with ease!
Once soldered together, the cable plugs between the Pi computer and the Cobbler breakout. The Cobbler can plug into any solderless breadboard (or even a prototyping board like the PermaProto). The Cobbler PCB has all the pins labeled nicely so you can go forth and build circuits without keeping a pin-out printout at your desk. We think this will make it more fun to expand the Pi and build custom circuitry with it.
The VL53L0X is a Time of Flight distance sensor like no other you've used! The sensor contains a very tiny invisible laser source, and a matching sensor. The VL53L0X can detect the "time of flight", or how long the light has taken to bounce back to the sensor. Since it uses a very narrow light source, it is good for determining distance of only the surface directly in front of it. Unlike sonars that bounce ultrasonic waves, the 'cone' of sensing is very narrow. Unlike IR distance sensors that try to measure the amount of light bounced, the VL53L0x is much more precise and doesn't have linearity problems or 'double imaging' where you can't tell if an object is very far or very close.
Incorporating Bluetooth in a project no longer requires the most advanced microcontroller or lots of code…our Bluefruit LE UART Friend and accompanying app for iOS and Android make it easy! Building upon our popular "Kaleidoscope Eyes" NeoPixel goggles project, this guide shows how Bluetooth LE can be used even with the most modest setup.